RD46 - Proton Radiation Therapy Report on Senate Bill 639 [2016]

  • Published: 2017
  • Author: Health Insurance Reform Commission
  • Enabling Authority: Rule 20 o. of the Rules of the Senate of Virginia

Executive Summary:
House Bill 978, introduced by Delegate David Yancey, and Senate Bill 639, introduced by Senator Kenneth Alexander, are identical. HB 978 was continued to 2017 in the House Commerce and Labor Committee by a voice vote. SB 639 was passed by indefinitely with a letter in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on a vote of 15-0. These bills prohibit health insurance plans that provide coverage for cancer therapy from holding proton radiation therapy to a higher standard of clinical evidence for benefit coverage decisions than the standards that are applied to other types of radiation therapy treatments. Proton radiation therapy, which utilizes protons as an alternative radiation method, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1988 as a form of cancer treatment. These bills do not establish a mandated benefit.